Archive for April, 2014

Monoscream – Redemption

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 27th April 2014 by Pieni

Monoscream
“Redemption”
Swedish death metal
Released on 21st September 2011
Via Dead Tree Records

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Monoscream are currently in the studio recording their second album, but until that’s done and out, let me tell you about the previous (and debut) “Redemption”.

When one says “Swedish death metal” he means a lot more than a death metal band that comes from Sweden. The expression implies a degree of sophisticated melody that adds strength, not softness, to its aggression. And that’s what we have here – 10 tracks (plus an intro) of sheer Swedish death metal.

“Oppressors Hand” was their choice for filming a video and “Nation Wide” to take part in Sicksound’s compilation “A New Era” (see here), so saying these two tracks are some of the album’s highlights is somewhat obvious. But they’re far from being the only ones priming for their grinding riffs and sharp beats. “Follow Your Shadow”, “Jealousy” or “17 Years” are just as worthy of praise, for their classy shredding. There’s also “Parasite”, with a quite belligerent rhythm making it the speediest track. But my personal favorite is “Voice Of Resistance”, for its lively overall structure and beautiful guitar solo. And speaking of “voice”, extra kudos for Andreas Deverstam, who manages to growl the lyrics in a perceptible way.

One always aims to improve, to evolve, but if the upcoming album stays on the same quality level, I won’t complain. (4,5 / 5)

By Renata “Pieni” Lino

Savn – Self-Titled

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 26th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Savn
Self-TItled
Released 28th April 2014
Gothic Folk Metal
Released via CDR Records Norway

Since 2000, Norwegian gothic metal legends Sins Of Thy Beloved have remained suspiciously inactive. Following years of rumours of a possible reunion, Stig Johansen and Anders Thue came back onto the scene with a new band – Savn (Norwegian for “deprivation”) which features Midnattsol vocalist Carmen Elise Espenæs. Savn’s self-titled release is the effort of these three musicians.

The album begins with the folkishly ethereal song Musical Silence, gently laying down a path for Carmen’s hypnotic vocals to follow along. The folkier instrumentation does a grand job at cementing the track together, enforcing the strength of the guitars. Hang On screams out with a heavier and darker sound whilst still incorporating well refined folk elements. Carmen’s vocals also take on a darker aspect throughout this song, building up an atmosphere alongside the instrumentation. Anders’ use of keyboard medleys adds a lot to both the sound and the atmosphere.

The guitars in the song The Demons In Me are painted with several Cimmerian shades, which are added to which deeper touches of despair by guest vocals from Michelle Darkness (End Of Green). The folk elements help paint the musical funeral dirge where as Longing For Love has a sliver of hope running throughout the dusky music. Carmen’s vocals are as angelic as ever but leave trace hints of sorrow in their wake, adding emphasis to the emotion that flows throughout the song. The keyboards dance almost Plutonianly throughout I Am Free which features Leaves’ Eyes frontwoman and Carmen’s sister Liv Kristine as a guest vocalist, showing the power of the two vocalists as well as making this the first time that Liv has appeared on one of Carmen’s songs. The folk elements take a backseat for some of the track, allowing the keyboards and guitars to weave a tapestry of solemn sounds.

Sorrowful bursts into action with a truly tragic sound, leaving no room for any hint of joyful elements. Even Carmen’s usually angelic voice sounds more twilit in their performance, walking hand in hand with the gothic styled stringed instrumentation. All I Want travels down a similar road to Sorrowful, taking on a deeper sound and displaying more of Carmen’s majestic vocal style. Nearing the end of the album is Now Or Neverwhich is slower paced than a lot of the songs on the album and twice as doomtastic, making an awe-inspiring use of Stig’s growls and Anders’s eerie style of keyboards. Lengselens Hånd is the final track of the album and it is perhaps the most soulful and emotive piece of music on the whole album, taking a soothing approach for most of its duration and allowing Carmen’s vocals to provide a gentle touch to the album – A gentle touch that continues even during in the heavier part of the song where the keyboards carefully step out each note in a celestial manner.

Leaving the sounds of their other projects at the door, Carmen, Stig and Anders have created an album that not only displays their talent as a band but their talents as individual musicians and songwriters as well. Savn is exactly the breath of fresh air that the metal scene needs.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Savn online:

http://savn-official.com
http://facebook.com/SavnOfficial

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Sonic Syndicate reveal details on upcoming album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 25th April 2014 by Pieni

As previously reported (read here) Anglo-Swedish modern metal act SONIC SYNDICATE have been in the studio recording their 5th full-length album. Today the boys and girl unveiled its coverart and let us know that this new 11-track piece (14 in the limited edition) will be named after the band itself and will hit the stores on July 7th, once again via Nuclear Blast.

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Quoting Robin Sjunnesson (guitarist/main songwriter/founding member): » We decided to go with this one as a “Self-Titled” release. Mainly because as an album we have put everything we’ve got into it. All of our experience as musicians, the evolution of the music, the sound from all eras of the band, and also the road we have taken as people. This is us, this is Sonic Syndicate in all its beauty and destruction. It shows our strength, our love for melody, our scars, our energy. The cover art is a definite representation of that. In the background, a battle-torn city laid to waste, four figures emerging together with only each other to depend on in an environment so harsh, only those with a tough heart, body and soul can survive. The tone throughout this album is definitely darker, and as my Swedish family would say “With a red-line running in the middle” so we put this into the colour-scheme. We could not be more proud of this album, and we thank our fans for the support, it’s because of them that we’re here. This album is for you. «

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The tracklist is as follows:
01. Day Of The Dead
02. Black Hole Halo
03. Long Road Home
04. My Revenge
05. Before You Finally Break (feat. Speed/SOILWORK)
06. Catching Fire
07. Unbreakable
08. It Takes Me
09. See What I See
10. So Addicted
11. The Flame That Changed The World


LIMITED EDITION BONUS TRACKS:
12. Diabolical Work Of Art
13. What We Shared
14. Another Soldier Down



Regarding Björn “Speed” Strid participation, singer Nathan J. Biggs said: » I’m honored to call Speed a friend. I’ve been a big SOILWORK fan for years. Those guys were a massive hand in crafting that trademark Swedish sound so it made perfect sense to ask Speed when we knew we wanted to do a song with guest vocals. Performance wise I think we have similar styles and execution, but at the same time we both have our own thing going on so the voices compliment each other to great effect. My idea was also to have a real battle between our vocals. I hate it when you have these “featuring” songs and the guest just pops up for a chorus and then does backing vocals for a while in the verse or something. This is a real fight between us for the mic and I’m sure people are gonna appreciate that. «

Don’t forget to follow the band on their official social networks for more updates – they have recently posted a snippet of the photosession for this album, the soundtrack being a preview of one of the new (and really heavy) song.

Official Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Mørktår release details about new album Dark Years

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 25th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

London’s prophets of misanthropy Mørktår have recently revealed the details of their new album Dark Years since is set for release in winter, later this year. The themes surrounding the new album, like previous releases, will deal with misanthropy. The album, which will be the band’s debut album, features new lyricist and vocalist Repktkor and promises to deliver more than Mørktår’s demo releases. The tracklisting is as follows:

I. Happiness No Life
II. No Efficiency In Your Blood
III. Worse Than The Plague
IV. Loneliness Is All You Have
V. Painful Dark Death
VI. Dark Years
VII. Lifekut Misery

Mørktår will also be appearing at this year’s Valkyrian Festival in Bridlington. Weekend and day tickets are available from this location.

Mørktår online:

http://facebook.com/morktarofficial

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Interview with Martijn Westerholt [Delain]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on 25th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Valkyrian Music editor Nico Davidson catches up with Delain’s founding member and main man Martijn Westerholt in Manchester before the band’s first UK show of 2014 with Within Temptation.

Special thanks to April Mccaffrey for filming the interview.

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

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Beyond Grace – Monstrous [EP]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 25th April 2014 by Paul Macmillan

Beyond Grace
Monstrous
Released February 2014
Extreme melodic death metal
Self-released

It’s with no mean frequency that the phrase ‘If it ain’t got riff, it ain’t worth a fuck!’ tumbles from these lips. Nothing turns me off from an extreme band more than constant noise or technicality for the sake of it. It just doesn’t spell out H-E-A-V-Y to me. Some of my favourite metal albums are those that punch a middle finger into the face of convention, blast beats swirling effortlessly into percussive grooves. Think Carcass Heartwork or Bloodbath‘s opus The Fathomless Mastery (especially At The Behest Of The Dead! Damn! That chorus!).

It’s such a shame that the UK bands taking this particular musical bull by the horns are vastly outnumbered by those who pump out the same old trend-oriented metal pudding as everyone else, but those who do tend to hit me in a special place.

Step up, Nottingham’s Beyond Grace – a band who seem to have set out to make writing an actual tune part of their purpose for existence. From the first moments of opening track The Chronophage – which I believe roughly means ‘the time-eater’ – it’s obvious that this lot don’t care much for fitting in to the preconceived notions of either the current UK death scene or mainstream extreme metal (Yup, I said it. It’s a thing now!), while brushing shoulders with both. The song is an easy choice for an opener, kicking off with a bombastic announcement of power-chords, shamelessly declaring “We are here! Listen!”, but it’s the intelligent introduction of complementary lead-work that really makes it stand out.

And they’re no one-trick-pony, either. Progressing to the accompanying tracks, Inhumanity and Invasive Exotics, they churn out riff after riff of addictive, individual brutality. While more consistently fast-paced, these two numbers guide the listener through a bit of an experiment in combining elements of rhythmic divergence and harmonious exaltation. The entire EP is dripping with all the best bits of At The Gates, Lamb Of God and The Haunted, without really sounding like any of them. I think I even sense the echoes of 80s thrash in there, but that could just be decades-old tinnitus.

It’s also worthy of note that frontman Andy Walmsley is one of the few who can really nail down clarity of lyrical content while dealing in full-on death metal vocals. It’s not something that everybody will care about, and to be fair, I do love a whole load of bands who haven’t achieved this, but I find it adds a little something being able tap into the story aspect of a heavy song on first listen.

I’d really like to hear full-length continuation of this style, but maybe with a more aggressive, rawer production, as it feels something is missing in terms of bite, and the whole thing is over far too soon for my liking. That said, this is a gripping, memorable release, proving, to these ears at least, that you don’t have to ditch any sense of melody and/or hooks to keep up with the pace of modern heaviness. More of this kind of thing!

4/5

Paul Macmillan

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Epica announce one-off UK show as part of European tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 23rd April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Dutch symphonic metallers Epica are set to embark on the first leg of their European tour in Winter this year, in support of their upcoming album, The Quantum Enigma which is set for release on 5th May 2014. The new album will be released via Nuclear Blast. Frontwoman Simone Simons comments:

After a little break from touring, we can’t wait to be on stage again and perform the new songs along with the old. Europe here we come!

As part of the European tour, the band will be hitting The Forum in London for a one-off UK show this year! Tickets are available from this location. Dagoba are the support act on the European tour.

Epica online:

http://epica.nl
http://facebook.com/EPICA
http://twitter.com/EPICA
http://YouTube.com/EPICA
http://instagram.com/EPICAOFFICIAL

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Sakara premieres new music video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 21st April 2014 by Nico Davidson

The Queen of Ravenheart Records, Sakara has unveiled her new music video for the song Weave My Web. Taken from her second, upcoming studio album, the song and video give a glimpse in the musical landscape that awaits the listener during in Beauty And Bravery. The album is set for release around the time of the summer solstice, later this year. The video for Weave My Web can be viewed down below.

Sakara online:

http://ladysakara.com

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Within Temptation w/Support @ O2 Apollo, Manchester UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , on 18th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Within Temptation & Delain
O2 Apollo, Manchester
11th April 2014

It had been almost a full year since Delain’s last appearance in the UK (11th May 2013 at The Dames of Darkness) and a bit longer for Within Temptation, so the crowd were more than hyped up for this show at the O2 Apollo in Manchester. With a buzz of excitement sparked by the audience, Delain came blasting on the stage in a theatrical manner firing their soaring, heavy sound across the ocean of bodies, mixing Charlotte’s intense vocal power with bombastic guitars and thunderous bass and drum work, as well as the haunting sound of Martijn’s keyboards. With a mixture of songs, , such as We Are The Others, Get The Devil Out of Me and Army of Dolls, Delain put on a blazing performance that very few bands could top. [5/5]

Touring in support of their new album, Hydra, Dutch symphonic metal titans Within Temptation pulled no punches with their performance, making the best of their cinematic backdrop for the visual dynamics, a sharp sound and a powerful lighting show. Sharon’s vocals proved to be a formidable force during in the performance of songs such as Angels, What About Us, and Faster. Weaving symphonic elements with driving guitar passages and earth-shattering drums as well as a heavy bass sound, Within Temptation’s two hour set proved that the band are still on top form and was definitely a treat for all in attendance. [4.5/5]

Photos of Delain’s set and Within Temptation’s set can be found here and here.

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Alestorm announce release date for Sunset On The Golden Age

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 16th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Metal privateers Alestorm have set the date for the release of their new album, Sunset On The Golden Age. The album, which will be the band’s fourth album, is set for release via Napalm Records on 1st 2014 in Europe, 4th August 2014 in the UK and 5th August in North America. The album’s artwork, as seen above, was designed by Ingo Römling, who worked on the artwork of Alestorm’s previous albums. The album’s title is in reference to the golden age of piracy which was roughly between the years of 1680 and 1720. Like all good things, this age had to come to an end, and the band used that as a general theme for this album. As the band stated on Facebook, in their own words: “there’s also songs about drinking and partying too.

Alestorm will also be releasing more details about the album on the lead up to its release but the band’s captain Chris did say the following on Facebook regarding the track titled Hangover:

Hangover is a cover of the dance-pop anthem by Taio Cruz and Flo Rida. It works… Trust me!

No doubt the more elite metal fans will hope this a joke but given Alestorm’s history of cover songs, including Lazy Town’s You Are A Pirate, there is a massive chance Chris is being as serious as Blackbeard plundering the Caribbean.

The tracklist for the album will be as follows:

1 – Walk the Plank
2 – Drink
3 – Magnetic North
4 – 1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)
5 – Mead from Hell
6 – Surf Squid Warfare
7 – Quest for Ships
8 – Wooden Leg!
9 – Hangover
10 – Sunset on the Golden Age

Alestorm online:

http://www.facebook.com/alestormband

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Stream Of Passion premiere video for A War Of Our Own

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 15th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Dutch-Mexican symphonic metallers, Stream Of Passion have recently premiered the video for their latest single A War Of Our Own, which can be viewed below. The song is taken from the band’s upcoming album of the same name, which will be released 18th April 2014.

Stream Of Passion will also be headlining the Dames of Darkness Festival on 10th May 2014 in Bilston at The Robin 2.

Stream Of Passion online:

http://www.facebook.com/StreamOfPassion

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Amberian Dawn reveal artwork for new album Magic Forest

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 15th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Finnish symphonic metal enchanters Amberian Dawn have recently revealed the stunning artwork for their new album, Magic Forest. The revealing of the artwork comes shortly after the band announced their new record deal with Napalm Records. The new album, Magic Forest, is scheduled for release on 7th July via Napalm Records.

Amberian Dawn online:

http://www.amberiandawn.com
http://www.facebook.com/amberiandawn

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Xandria unveil album preview clip

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 15th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

German symphonic metallers Xandria, who are fronted by the powerfully voiced Dianne van Giersbergen, are set to release their new album Sacrificium next month on 5th May via Napalm Records. As such, the band have unveiled a taster for the new album, so fans can sample what it is to be expected from the new release. The album taster can be heard below.

Xandria will also be hitting the UK in May for two shows, which are as follow:

09.05.14 UK – London / Underworld
10.05.14 UK – Bilston / Dames of Darkness Festival

Xandria online:

http://www.xandria.de
http://www.facebook.com/xandriaofficial

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Aborted launch lyric video for Coffin Upon Coffin

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 15th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

The Necrotic Manifesto, the long awaited album from Aborted, is set for release on 28th April 2014 in Europe and the day after in North America. Production for the album was handled by Jacob Hansen, who had already sharpened his skills on 2003’s gore-classic Goremageddon and 2011’s much lauded Global Flatline. Visually, the album’s concept was congenially transformed by Par Olofsson, who has gained fame by working with acts such as The Faceless, Exodus, Immolation, Pathology, Immortal and many more.

To give fans another taste of the band’s eviscerating brand of brutality, Aborted have launched the lyric video for Coffin Upon Coffin which can be viewed below.

The tracklisting for The Necrotic Manifesto is as follows:

1.     Six Feet Of Foreplay
2.     The Extirpation Agenda
3.     Necrotic Manifesto
4.     An Enumeration Of Cadavers
5.     Your Entitlement Means Nothing
6.     The Davidian Deceit
7.     Coffin Upon Coffin
8.     Chronicles Of Detruncation
9.     Sade & Libertine Lunacy
10.  Die Verzweiflung
11.  Excremental Veracity
12.  Purity Of Perversion
13.  Of Dead Skin & Decay
14.  Cenobites

Aborted online:

http://www.goremageddon.be/
http://www.facebook.com/Abortedofficial
http://instagram.com/abortedmetal#
http://twitter.com/abortedmetal
http://www.youtube.com/user/abortedbelgium

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Kreator announce string of UK dates with Arch Enemy

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 15th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Teutonic thrash overlords Kreator have announced a string of UK dates in December, as part of their huge European tour, with Swedish melodic death metal unit Arch Enemy.

When Kreator released Endless Pain in 1985, they single-handedly established Germany as a thrash nation and continued to sustain and influence the subgenre via their own Violent Revolution. In 2012, Kreator released their latest studio album – the killer Phantom Antichrist which brought the band superb chart entries and sold-out venues all over the planet. This triumphant march was recently immortalized in the highly acclaimed live DVD/Blu-Ray Dying Alive. Footage from the DVD can be viewed below.

Frontman and icon Mille Petrozza comments:

A lot of our European fans voiced their discontent over the fact that the band hardly does European club tours – apart from our festival shows. In 2013 we were mainly busy playing for our fans overseas. We want to change this now. In time for the reissues of Endless Pain, Pleasure To Kill and Extreme Aggression in all kinds of formats – finally on vinyl again too –  we`ll end the Phantom Antichrist tour cycle in Europe with a massive string of shows. This will be your last chance to see Kreator live in clubs for quite a while, because we’ll be busy working on a new album in 2015 and only play carefully selected shows. Right now we`re working on a new multimedia stage show and we’ll also have a bunch of surprises in the setlist.  Our friends of Arch Enemy are part of the trek to present their new album War Eternal, and so will Vader and our old companions Sodom. This tour will be KILLER!!

Kreator’s UK tour dates are as follow:

16.12.2014 UK – Leamington, Assembly Rooms
17.12.2014 UK – Bristol, Academy
18.12.2014 UK – London, The Forum
19.12.2014 UK – Manchester, Academy
20.12.2014 IR – Dublin, Academy
21.12.2014 UK – Glasgow, QMU
22.12.2014 UK – Newcastle, Academy

Kreator online:

http://kreator-terrorzone.de |
http://facebook.com/KreatorOfficial

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Freedom Call w/ support – Porto, PT

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 14th April 2014 by Pieni

Freedom Call, DragonhammeR, Head:Stoned
Hard Club, Porto
Thursday, 3rd April 2014

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With the release of their 8th studio album, “Beyond”, Freedom Call embarked on a mandatory European tour (read here). The only Portuguese date took place at Hard Club, Porto, courtesy of SWR Inc., to whom I’d also like to thank for the press/photo pass.

As Head:Stoned are halfway between heavy metal and prog, I was a bit surprise to see them supporting two power metal acts, but it worked out pretty well after all – the “happy metal partyers” surrendered to the band’s juicy heaviness and lively performance, headbanging enthusiastically and greeting and asking for guitar picks in the end of the gig.
Their most recent release is already from January 2013 (the six-track EP “Present Inexistence”), so there was no need to promote it anymore – especially being a local band that plays in the area quite often – and therefore the setlist was balanced between all their discography (another EP – “Within The Dark” – and a full-length – “I Am All”). “This Void” is clearly their biggest hit so it was the obvious choice to close their half-an-hour gig. (4,5 / 5)

www.facebook.com/HeadStoned.band

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Italian DragonhammeR came next and, unlike me, many knew them well enough. “The X Experiment” was released last December (after a studio break that lasted almost ten years), so they focused a little bit more on that one. But being their first time in Portugal, and having just a 45-minute slot, give or take, they still played three songs from the previous “Time For Expiation” and one – “Dragon Hammer” – from the debut “The Blood Of The Dragon”. They were somewhat somber, only drummer Andrea Gianangeli – the most recent member in the band – matching the vibrant rhythm of their power prog (more power than prog, I must add). But they were smiling in the end – and they had reasons to, given the warm welcome bidden by the crowd – so the serious look on stage was probably just concentration.
The drums in “Seek In The Ice”, the guitar chords of “Believe”, the chorus (sung-along by the audience) of “The X Experiment” and singer/guitarist Max Aguzzi introducing the band before the last song (“Last Solution”) are some of the moments I best recall of the gig. (3,5 / 5)

www.facebook.com/dragonhammer.official

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I was sick in 2001, when Freedom Call first and last played in Portugal, as a support act for Hammerfall. Back then I was really pissed for missing it, as I liked power metal a lot more than I do now – or actually, “as I liked power metal”. Period. Having enjoyed this gig so much in the present day was really a surprise. I guess it means that Freedom Call are THAT good.
Another surprise was seeing so many people. And the high number of Freedom Call t-shirts, especially on young bodies – I had no idea they were so popular around here, let alone among youngsters. It’s nice to know that not every teen follows “what’s in”, as power metal isn’t exactly the latest metal-fashion.
It wasn’t just the excellency of the performance in technical terms or the setlist – a 90-minute headlining show of a band that’s been around for more than 15 years and has 8 studio albums in its baggage is always a treat – but the good spirits of frontman Chris Bay as well. He tried to say some words in Portuguese but apart from “obrigado” (thank you) he failed totally. So he just smiled and said they had to come back more often, so he could learn. Later he said he was happy to see us there on a soccer night (the major local team had a match which was being broadcasted on TV), that we were looking good. And after asking us to raise our fists in the air, he added that we didn’t only look good, we smelled good too. Also, he asked for our help in “Beyond”, asked us to give them the rhythm by clapping our hands, as he had a tendency to go fast – and addressing the women he would then say that he wasn’t talking about sex.
I appreciated that Chris sat behind the keyboards for “The Quest” instead of using recorded samples. And that he asked for an applause not only for the support bands but also for their sound tech and even Hard Club’s own light tech, who he was sorry for not remembering the name but was thankful for the great job he did (yeah, I just wish he did the same at every gig…).
Chris told us that when they began writing the new album, they wanted to keep the word “warrior” out of it, shrugging his shoulders and almost rolling his eyes, because they were the “Warriors Of Light” after all so that word was a must-have. The setlist itself had three songs with it – that same “Warriors Of Light”, “Heart Of A Warrior” and “Warriors” (the latter already in the 3-song encore, along with “Paladin” and “Land Of Light”). And when introducing the band, he asked who had been at the 2001 gig, “on the other side of the river” (the original location of Hard Club), as bass player Ilker Ersin had played that show, then left in 2005 and was now back in what Chris claims to be “the best Freedom Call line-up”.
In the final thanks he mentioned again the soccer night, and the fact that was Thursday and so late. I was one of the many who had to go to work the morning after so leaving Hard Club at 1:45 am wasn’t ideal at all. But hell, was it worth it! (5 / 5)

www.facebook.com/FreedomCallOfficial

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Japanese Vamps confirmed for Download Festival 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 13th April 2014 by Pieni

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Japanese rock duo Vamps (featuring HYDE from L’Arc-en-Ciel and K.A.Z. from Oblivion Dust) will make their third appearance in the UK this Summer, at Download Festival (Donnington Park between 13th and 15th of JuneVamps playing on the 14th). They’ve recently played a headline show at Koko (March 28th) and last October they hit British ground for the first time at a sold-out Islington Academy.

» We just finished the show at Koko, London, and already we plan to come back and play for you guys at Download Festival in June! We will do our best to come back to the UK as many times as we can this year! Come to the festival and check out our performance, if you get a chance! «, says HYDE.

“Sex Blood Rock’N’Roll” is already their third album, the first to be released in Europe through Spinefarm Records. Follow them on Facebook (link here) for more information on what they’re up to.

Angelspit – The Product

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 13th April 2014 by izaforestspirit

Angelspit
The Product
Released 30th March 2014
Industrial Rock/ Electro Punk
Released via Black Pill Red Pill

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‘The Product’ is the new album from the Australian industrial group Angelspit. This latest brainchild of Angelspit’s mastermind ZooG Von Rock is the follow up to their 2011 release ‘Hello My Name Is’. This album features several guest musicians including Helalyn Flowers, Miss Ballistic, Steve Jones (Agent 13) and Adam Newman (Lab4); each of whom leave their own unique mark on the songs that they contribute to.

Now, my previous exposure to this band is limited to watching their surreal music video for the song ‘Vena Cava’ and listening to the remixes of ‘100%’… So needless to say that I had some catching up to do.

Angelspit has a very unique sound which is incredibly hard to classify. There’s some strong punk-rock elements in there along with some industrial synths as well as raw industrial noise with distorted guitars and vocals. Yet it’s the bizarre vocal style which truly makes these guys stand out. Take the track Because God for instance, the chorus featuring Zoog and Miss Ballistic’s shouting duet in making them sound like the leaders of an angry mob who are out there to cause havoc in the streets. Fight Dirty is a disturbing mix of heavily distorted electro-rock guitar, synths, glitchy noise samples with punk-style shouting vocals and melodic vocals from the Italian Goth Rock duo Helalyn Flowers.

Then there’s the eerie sounding, industrial noise instrumental Creeper (Featuring Steve [Agent 13] Jones) which is true to its namesake. The synth solo really did remind me of the some of the machine noises that you would expect to hear inside a factory. Velocity comes off as a bit of a surprise as it sees Zoog attempt a softer, more melodic and somewhat “cleaner” vocal style. The same vocal style is also present in the ultra creepy, slow-paced industrial rock track Walking In the Woods (Featuring Teknocracy) which is definitely one of the highlights as well as one of the most unique souding songs on this album.

Overall ‘The Product’ features an unsual mixture of different styles but still manages to retain its true identity as an Angelspit album. It takes a few listens to get into it and even then some of the tracks will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth. Whilst I have no doubt that their existing fans will enjoy it, their music is a little too quirky and experimental for my liking.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Ben Parcell’s “Cover Stories Vol. 1” available for free download

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 13th April 2014 by Pieni

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Ben Parcell, one of Bridlington’s most famous pop-folk performers, has released his third full-length album, which is available for free download at Bandcamp (link here). More than a cover album, “Cover Stories Vol. 1” is a homage to artists who have influenced, supported and given advice to Parcell. Quoting the man himself: » I think it’s important to recognise local and roots music as we live in an age where the mainstream is mostly interested in chart music and the X Factor. While I wish all the best for artists who choose to take the talent show route, there are many local artists with amazing talents and superior songwriting skills, who don’t get that mainstream broadcast, but deserve it equally. I’ve been lucky enough to be granted permission by all of the artists on my album.« Like East-Yorkshire-based Edwina Hayes, who says: » A tireless supporter of local music, Ben has been an active participant in the East Yorkshire acoustic scene for several years now and I’m very honoured he has chosen to cover one of my songs.«

Along with Edwina‘s, “Cover Stories Vol. 1” features songs from Chris Helme (of the Seahorses), Ryan Spendlove, Sam McKie, Rob Bywater, Alastair Artingstall, Sophie Madeleine, Joe McCorriston and Mikee J. Reds.

Parcell will be performing the cover album live on The Fox’s Den Radio Show, Vixen 101 FM on Friday 25th April from 9 pm. And if you’d like to attend one of his shows, he’s the monthly resident artist at The Funny Onion, Bridlington, on the first Friday of every month. For more info, follow his official Facebook page here.

Moita Metal Fest 2014 – 2nd day, 2nd part – Moita (PT)

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , on 12th April 2014 by Pieni

Gwydion, Trinta & Um, Primal Attack, Scent Of Death, Viralata, Gates Of Hell
Sociedade Filarmónica Estrela Moitense, Moita (PT)
29th March 2014

The dinner took longer than expected and when I got back to the venue, Gates Of Hell were already playing “Into My Destruction”. I was really pissed as I like them very much and wanted to see the full show. A show that also had to be cut one song short, so I was double pissed. Of course I’ve seen them about a dozen times before, but it’s the kind of band you never get tired of seeing live. Or moshing to, apparently, as the circle was restless. And speaking of mosh, both singer Raça and guitarist Filipe were wearing Mosher t-shirts, and later Primal Attack bassist Miranda would too – I guess their merch is really worth to take a look at.
By the time the gig was halfway played, Raça engaged in the thank-you list. Besides the mandatory gratitude for the crowd and the promoters Switchtense, he also included the staff – the people who were cooking the food and serving the beer. I think he was the only one who did that. And then he introduced “Constructive Misery”.
The title-track of their debut album, “Critical Obsession”, was last, Raça thanking again and saying they would be there the following year, not playing but enjoying the fest as Moita was more than a metal party – it stood for humility and friendship. (4,5 / 5)

www.facebook.com/gatesofhellband

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There are punk bands that sing about anarchy and/or against the political state of the country/continent/world. And then there are punk bands that sing about trivial stuff… like how fucking beautiful their bikes are or how they miss the silicone boobs of some chick called Ivone (who was also supposed to be gorgeous, although singer Ulisses claimed that guitarist Covas was the most beautiful “girl”). Viralata (mongrel) haven’t been around for long, but their members are quite veterans. And just because their lyrics are funny, don’t think the music is less serious – they play straightforward high-quality punk rock.
Viralata have one album so far, “Vai Buscar!” (“go get it!”), but its follow-up “Doa A Quem Doer” (“no matter who gets hurt”, in the sense of “whatever it takes”) should see the light of day this year. So I think I’m not mistaken when I say I’ve heard Ulisses introducing a new song, although I can’t tell which one.
The Portuguese underground scene is still mourning the loss of João Ribas (R.I.P.), who was much more than a punk icon. In his memory, Viralata played a cover of “Censurados” (censored), a hymn from the band with the same name where Ribas used to sing. It was the cherry on the top of a delicious cake. (5 / 5)

www.youtube.com/user/viralatapunktv

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Scent Of Death is an Iberian death metal band – Iberian as in Iberian Peninsula, meaning Portuguese and Spanish. Both singer Sérgio and drummer Rolando had played the night before with their other bands (Bleeding Display and Switchtense, respectively) but they didn’t seem tired at all – Sérgio warned of how brutal things were about to become and the band did keep that promise.
They have already two albums out, “Woven In The Book Of Hate” and “Of Martyr’s Agony And Hate”, and by their titles you can already imagine the level of aggression. “Feeling The Fear” was quite a highlight. (4 / 5)

www.facebook.com/scentofdeathmetal

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Primal Attack was formed in 2012 and played in last year’s edition of the fest – one of the first bands in the afternoon. They were already talking about an album, which would be released that June (“Humans”). And now they got one of the prime-time slots of the festival’s bill, where they would even record footage for a DVD. Talk about a meteoric rise… But I guess it’s deserved – well, I’m sure it is, given the hell they brought upon and in front of the stage.
Hugo from Switchtense put some vocals on “Despise You All” and the crowd did the same with pretty much the whole setlist. (4,5 / 5)

https://www.facebook.com/primalattack

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Trinta & Um means literally thirty-one, but in Portuguese that’s more than a number. I actually don’t know the origins of the expression, but when it’s said that “you got yourself in a thirty-one”, it means that you’re in big trouble. What better name for a punk-hardcore band?
One of the many stagedivers who climbed up there had his t-shirt tainted red. “I was going to tell him to be careful but it’s red wine after all, not blood” said singer Goblin. “I’ll say it anyway: be careful”. Trinta & Um have been around since 1995 so I’m pretty sure they’ve seen their fair share of blood on the mosh floor. At least Goblin and bass player Metralha, since drummer Rato and guitarist Deris are somewhat recent acquisitions.
“Advogado do Diabo” (Devil’s advocate) would be dedicated to everyone, especially (once again) Hugo from Swithtense for giving them the opportunity of playin there. And the last song, a song about their hometown Linda-A-Velha and suitable called “Linda-A-Velha Hardcore” went to the aforementioned late punk legend João Ribas, for everything he’s done and would still do for punk and music in general in Portugal. (5 / 5)

www.facebook.com/trintaeum.lvhc

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There’s a reason why Gwydion is the most popular folk metal band from Portugal and every time I see them live I remember it. And not even when singer Rúben felt sick and had to leave the stage for a while – a “technical problem with my stomach”, he later explained – did the party stop.
Promoting their third full-length album, “Veteran” (released last November), they had lots of fans who I didn’t see up front during the rest of the fest – so I guess it’s not wrong to assume they were there just for Gwydion. Which is another proof that they don’t need Eurovision Song Contest to express their talent – the band won the online poll by 87%, meaning they were the people’s clear choice, but then RTP, the Portuguese channel which is promoting the Portuguese contest, didn’t let them participate (typical prejudiced minds). Other bands could have closed the night, but having Gwydion do it was just as rightful. (5 / 5)

www.facebook.com/GwydionPT

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More pics here.

First part here.

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino